HC Deb 22 March 1988 vol 130 cc58-9W
Sir Trevor Skeet

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what percentage of cars at present on British roads have been designed to operate both on leaded and unleaded petrol;

(2) what percentage of cars cannot run on unleaded petrol due to risk of engine damage;

(3) what information he has on the locations in England and Wales where unleaded petrol may be purchased;

(4) if he will estimate the number of cars that are fitted with three-way catalytic converters;

(5) if he will make a statement on lean-burn engine technology in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Moynihan

[holding answer 21 March 1988]: Figures provided by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on the ability of cars to run on unleaded petrol are as follows:

Per cent.
Vehicles on the road at December 1986 56 35 9
New vehicles registered during 1987 57 20 23

In the above, R denotes refer to dealer for advice on conversion to operate on either unleaded or leaded petrol, U denotes unleaded fuel only, L denotes leaded fuel only, and E denotes either unleaded or leaded fuel may be used without adjustment.

To date in the United Kingdom a few cars used solely for experimental and test purposes have been fitted with three-way catalytic converters. I understand that the first vehicles fitted with three-way catalytic converters to go on sale in the United Kingdom will do so on Wednesday 23 March.

The approach of British and other European car manufacturers to the use of "lean-burn" technology is discussed in volume 4 of the Fellowship of Engineering's "Manual of Acidic Emission Abatement Technologies" prepared for the Department. Copies of this have been placed in the Library of the House. "Lean-burn" technology is one of the principal approaches to meeting the new European exhaust emission limits.

The Department regularly receives a list from the United Kingdom Petroleum Industries Association of petrol stations in the United Kingdom where unleaded petrol may be purchased. A map showing these locations is prepared by the Department and both the list and the map are made freely available to interested organisations and inquirers.

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